Hey now it's the Sun! And it makes me smile.
This song has been rattling round my head for some time now.
I recently read the lamentations of a chap who had used his knife to batten through a three or four inch piece of branch.
The knife broke !
Personally I would not countenance the use of a knife to split wood.
I would, however, let the sun do some work for us if we ever needed to split timber when we have only a knife to hand.
As most of you know by now, a piece of prized timber, left out in the elements, will, as quick as you can say 'Jack Robinson', split.
So why not use this to your advantage and save the chance of breaking your prized knife?
I was out in the forest yesterday, and came across a pile of recently trimmed Hazel.
I picked out a length and carried it up to my camp spot.
I scouted around and found a thin, seasoned branch from a birch tree.
Not the toughest of wood, but I believed it would get the job done.
To truncate a piece of wood like this, I become a Beaver.
Working round the branch with ever deepening 'V' cuts.
Once my chosen piece was shortened,
I fashioned a wedge shape at the end.
After a short time, job done.
You can see in these photos that the sun has done a good job and has started the cleave for me.
These splits are just big enough for my newly carved 'Glut' or wedge.
I pop the wedge in the split.
A few taps with a lump of wood...
And there you have it !
My morning was disturbed for a short time whilst a Ladies shoot came through.
I sat with the folk manning the traps, out of the way of the 'Guns'.
The ladies had a great time.
Away to the pub for a well earned pint.
The 'Gaffer' at the back with a bucket load of spent cartridges.
Nicely tidied away.
Excitement over, I headed back to my camp.
So, back to the problem of cleaving wood without an Axe or breaking ones knife.
If a saw is available, try cutting through the timber to the depth of wood required for the job.
Here I wanted a thin sliver for a spoon.
The elastic shock through the length of timber is enough to open it like a clam.
There. All done, and no tears.
Now the timber is in more manageable pieces I can use my knife to shorten them.
All done !
One spoon, or whatever it was you needed the split wood for, on it's way.
I think it needs shortening.
Here we go again.....
I took some nice seasoned Apple with me and spent the rest of the day cutting blanks.
WITH AN AXE !
Hammock time !
I also have a photo blog at...
See you there....
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